The Eurasian Economic Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States
to join efforts on consumer protection
The Memorandum on cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) and the Advisory Council on Consumer Protection of the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS Council)* has been signed on July 25, 2018 by Valeri Koreshkov, Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Technical Regulation of the EEC, and Anna Popova, the Head of the Rospotrebnadzor – the Chairman of the CIS Council.
The implementation of the Memorandum is a new promising format of relations that will bring together approaches and enable to consolidate efforts on coordinating measures to protect consumers in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU, Union) and the CIS.
"Together with the EEU Member States, the Commission creates the adequate conditions for protecting consumer rights, ensuring product safety, increasing the competitiveness of bona fide producers and the standard of living for the population", said Valery Koreshkov. "The experience and practice gained within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States are a solid basis for protecting consumers in the Eurasian format."
He also noted that the next stage of joint activities of the EEU Member States involves the establishment of equal conditions for ensuring the consumers rights in a single market of services. Such a work will be carried out taking into account the best practices of the CIS Council as of CIS’s sectoral cooperation body.
According to the EEC Minister, the Memorandum enables the CIS Member States that are not members of the Union to take part in consumer protection activities held on the Commission's platform, to participate in the exchange of information and experience between the countries of the Eurasian continent.
The cooperation will be based on the world's best practices, reflected in the UN documents, and will result in the path to effective building of a civilized consumer market within the interregional space of the EEU – CIS.
The Advisory Council on Consumer Protection of the CIS Member States is a body for sectoral cooperation in the field of consumer protection, which was established to coordinate the interaction of state bodies and public organizations in order to implementing the Agreement on the main areas of cooperation of the CIS Member States in the field of consumer protection of January 25, 2000. The Council includes Heads of state authorities of the CIS countries, authorized in the field of consumer protection, and representatives of public consumer organizations.
About participation in the third session of the Intergovernmental Group
of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy
The third session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy (IGE) was held on 9-10 July 2018 in Geneva (Switzerland) at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The event was attended by representatives from the UN member states, observer states at UN, representatives of intergovernmental associations. The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) was represented by the staff members of the Consumer Protection Division of the Department for Sanitary, Phytosanitary and Veterinary Measures.
Participants of the event discussed issues on consumer protection of financial services, on protection of consumers' rights in the sphere of tourism, on ensuring the safety of consumer goods, on development of alternative mechanisms for pre-trial settlement and dispute resolution, as well as a number of other relevant topics in the field of consumer protection.
Representatives of the EEC informed the participants about the main activities carried out by the EEC and the Member States of the Eurasian Economic Union in the field of consumer protection, as well as the main course of the EEC's activities in the field of consumer protection for 2018.
In addition, the EEC's contributions were included in the outcome documents (reports) of the UNCTAD working groups on Electronic Commerce and on the Protection of Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Consumers adopted by the IGE, in which the EEC's representatives participated in 2017 - 2018 years.
During the working consultations with representatives of UNCTAD, further steps are planned for cooperation in the framework of mutual participation in consumer protection activities conducted by UNCTAD and the Commission in 2018 - 2019 in accordance with the Program of Cooperation between the Commission and UNCTAD for 2017 - 2019, approved by the Decision of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission of April 24, 2017 No. 36.
Furthermore, during the deliberations, participants expressed their concern about the growing problem of consumer product safety in the context of e-commerce issues and due to rapidly increasing sales at cross-border trade. In this regard, representatives of the states decided to convene a working group on Consumer Product Safety under the IGE auspices.
Based on the results of the work of the third session of the IGE, a resolution and a final report will be prepared, which will be available on the official website of UNCTAD on a link: http://unctad.org/en/Pages/MeetingDetails.aspx?meetingid=1674.
The EEC will continue its participation in the work of working groups created under the IGE auspices, as well as on enhancing the cooperation with UNCTAD in the field of consumer protection.